The Denver Nuggets are not primary players in this four-team Dwight Howard trade, but if the deal goes through as expected, they still managed to acquire an All-Star player in Andre Iguodala and save long-term money in the process. Credit Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri and his staff for a really creative deal that arguably makes the team better now and in the future.
Here's how this deal currently breaks down for Denver.
On talent alone, this is a high price to pay for Iguodala. But the important thing to consider is that the Nuggets also saved significant long-term money in this deal. Afflalo was owed $31 million over the next four years, while Harrington was owed $21 million over the next three years, though the last two years were only partially guaranteed. Iguodala is owed $14.7 million next year, then has an early-termination option for 2013-14. If he doesn't exercise it, he'll make $15.9 million.
All in all, the Nuggets will be salary-neutral for the next two years if Iguodala opts in, then will chop off $11.5 million in 2014-15 (Afflalo's full salary plus half of Harrington's), and another $8 million the year after that.
This should also make the Nuggets an NBA League Pass favorite. Iguodala will join Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller, Timofey Mozgov and JaVale McGee on a roster that will get up and down the court.